The Northern Beaches Business Park (NBBP), a new industrial estate on the site of the former Roche Pharmaceuticals factory at the corner of South Creek and Inman Road, Cromer, was officially opened on Wednesday 15 November.
Wakehurst MP Michael Regan and Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins cut the ribbon to mark the occasion, alongside Jamie Crookes, Managing Director of Richard Crookes Construction (site developers), and Roger Parker, Managing Director of EG Funds Management (project investors).
The event was launched with an Indigenous Smoking Ceremony hosted by Raymond Weatherall from the Gamilaraay Nation in Northern NSW and Southern Qld, and a member of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.
Along the perimeter, landscaping specialists Valerie, Walt, Julie and Anton of Insta Scapes Planting completed the final touches to the grounds, laying turf and planting native vegetation.
Construction commenced on NBBP in July 2022, and building work on the site at 4-10 Inman Road, Cromer, which consists of 11 warehouses, four offices, an on-site café and a self-storage unit, is close to completion.
Several of the new leaseholders will host youth-oriented facilities, including mini golf, swimming lessons and trampolines.
The first tenants, Precision Golf in unit 11, an indoor golf driving range and 18 hole mini ‘putt putt’ golf course, officially open for business on 20 November.
Carlile Swimming are in the midst of installing an indoor swimming pool in unit one – their third learn-to-swim centre on the Northern Beaches after Killarney Heights and Freshwater.
Bounce Trampolines, whose only other NSW facility is in Homebush, are setting up an indoor freestyle trampolining site here too.
Michael Regan, who was Northern Beaches Mayor at the onset of the project (now a Member of Parliament), thanked the investors and developers in his speech. “What a wonderful chore it’s been and what a great outcome it is for your endeavours,” he declared.
Referring to some of the bureaucracy that was necessary in overseeing the project, he said, “I’m sorry that Council was a pain in the arse! But that’s what council’s do well – some better than others!”
He added his hope that the Cromer site might install solar power units similar to those being trialled in the Brookvale industrial estate.
The 26,902 square metre site preserves some key structures and associated landscape features of the former Roche headquarters – including the hexagonal tower at the centre of the precinct, an iconic building since the 1960s.
Mayor Sue Heins praised its conservation and retention. “The design of the original building and the fact that it was set among the landscaping … was something very unique at its time, and is something I’m grateful to see is being embraced and continued…”
According to Heritage 21 conservation experts, “The Roche factory had become redundant and left unused for a period of 10 years prior to EG’s acquisition of the site with enormous development potential on the 7.46 ha large block of land.”
“Heritage 21 ensured that all the key elements of the Roche Factory were preserved. These included the landscape setting, the hexagonal Roche emblem tower, and the original front offices of the 1960s complex. Heritage 21 worked with the EG team throughout the design development, documentation, and lodgement phase of the project to procure approval from the Northern Beaches Council.”
Roger Parker, EG Director, stated, “from Roche’s first building on this site in 1964, until the business relocated in 2017… many important and life-saving medications were made here.” Tongue firmly in cheek, he added, “But the one that stood out for me and saved me on more than one occasion, was the wonder-drug Berocca!”
Now made by Bayer, Berocca is an effervescent multivitamin and mineral tablet with a formula of magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamins C and H, folic acid, and six B vitamins. As well as a popular remedy for reducing stress and fatigue, Berocca is most famous as a cure for alcohol-related hangovers.
Mr Parker continued, “With the great support of Council in approving our plans with our delivery partners, we’re delighted that this first stage of repurposing of the Roche site to create the Northern Beaches Business Park is now officially complete.”
Mayor Heins enthused that the Precision Golf will undoubtedly be a major attraction to youths and adults alike.
Precision Golf is run by three PGA professionals, Ray Hawkins, Brad McIntosh and Brad Hawkins, who oversee golf coaching lessons, children’s mini golf parties, and event packages.
Northern Beaches Business Park, 4-10 Inman Rd, Cromer: https://www.nbbp.com.au/
Precision Golf: https://www.precisiongolf.com.au/facilities/putt-putt-cromer/
Carlile Swimming Lessons: https://www.carlile.com.au/location/northern-beaches/cromer/
Bounce trampolining: https://www.bounceinc.com.au/